BOF Mailbag: 1/25/15
Author: Bill "Jett" Ramey (Follow @BATMANONFILM)
January 25, 2015

Below you will find the latest BOF Mailbag. Thanks for all the questions and keep them coming via EMAIL, BOF's FACEBOOK PAGE, or on BOF's TWITTER.

I know you don't dabble in spoilers and such and I understand, but I'm curious about one thing. With the information floating around and Zack Snyder’s desire for a THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS-style Batman, it sounds as if the DCCU has some of its heroes just starting, leaving plenty of stories to tell, and a Batman in near the tail end of his career. It feels as if Batman is gonna be pigeonholed without much direction to leave for future stories, particularly with a Batman in his prime. Would you agree? (via EMAIL)

JETT SAYS: Not necessarily Victor. I don’t think we’re going to see Ben Affleck play Batman in a trilogy or quadrilogy of Batman films. I believe Ben will be Batman in BvS, the two JUSTICE LEAGUE films, and one solo Batman movie – as well as a that rumored cameo in SUICIDE SQUAD. I believe that both Snyder and Affleck know exactly what they want to do with this Batman over the course of four films. When it’s all said and done, Affleck will replace Christian Bale as the longest tenured Batman on film.

What member(s) of the Batman Family are you hoping to see in BATMAN v SUPERMAN as the next solo Batman film?

JETT SAYS: That’s a good question Mike. Because of my personal Batman sensibilities and taste, I prefer a solo Batman without any sidekicks or partners other than Alfred and Jim Gordon. (Of course, Batman’s partners in “The Dark Knight Trilogy” also included Lucius Fox, Selina Kyle, and Robin John Blake.) However, since I know that this new incarnation of Batman on film will include a Batman Family, I’m really hoping to see the first live-action film version of Bat-Mite, the mischievous imp from the 5th dimension.

Were Michael Keaton and Val Kilmer asked to reprise the role of Batman in BATMAN FOREVER and BATMAN AND ROBIN respectively?

JETT SAYS: Both MK and VK were under contract to play Batman again in both FOREVER and B&R, respectively. So yeah, they were “asked,” sort of.

Based on my research and knowledge of both situations, Keaton was closer to actually doing FOREVER than Kilmer with B&R. Keaton sat in pre-production meetings, had costume fittings, and Warner Bros./Joel Schumacher had cast Rene Russo as Dr. Chase Meridian as she was close to Keaton’s age. But at some point before the cameras started to roll, Keaton and Warner Bros. decided to part ways and he was allowed out of his contract. Despite the fact that Keaton says he walked away from the project – and it was basically his decision – I don’t think either Warner Bros. or Schumacher tried to talk him out of it…you know what I’m sayin’?

As far Kilmer, apparently he was such an A-hole while making FOREVER, Schumacher was more than happy to let him walk/invite him to leave and recast the role with the “hot TV actor” George Clooney. Of course, Clooney didn't have a choice as his one Batman film - BATMAN AND ROBIN - killed that run of four Batman movies.

With Tom Hardy leaving SUICIDE SQUAD and Jake Gyllenhaal passing on it, is there any truth to the rumors that the script wasn't good enough for them?

JETT SAYS: Chance, I personally doubt it. Hardy actually signed on for the project knowing both the size of the role and the quality (or lack thereof) of the script. Maybe I’m naïve, but I do believe that Hardy had to exit due to a scheduling conflict.

When it comes to Gyllenhaal passing on the offer, perhaps it was simply ego and didn’t want to take a role in an ensemble film when he wasn’t the first choice. If that’s the case, so be it – I certainly don’t and won’t hold it against him.

When it comes to the role of Rick Flagg, hell, I say give an unknown dude a break and give that cat the role. It’s not like the project is lacking for name recognition with Will Smith and Jared Leto being part of the cast.

How do you hope Batman is portrayed/handled in the JUSTICE LEAGUE movies?

JETT SAYS: Gabe, it’s my hope that the JL films are not so fantastical/sci-fi that the character of Batman comes off looking silly.

I’ve said this many times before and I’ll say it again: Batman’s appeal – especially with the mainstream audience – is the character’s “realism” and humanity. Frankly, it might be a tough pill to swallow for non-comic book readers to accept Batman alongside a flying invulnerable alien, a demigoddess, a dude who lives underwater and talks to fish, and a space cop with a magical ring that can construct anything. Hell, I’ve read comic books my entire life, and I have a problem whenever Batman’s around aliens, magic, monsters, and – *GULP* – up in SPACE!

If you could purchase one item from SkyMall, what would it be?

JETT SAYS: Kyle, it would be this

…for my wife, of course.

Why is Harley Quinn so popular? The character's popularity seems to keep going up and up and up. She'll never be more popular than Batman, right?

JETT SAYS: Colin, well, how popular is she really? Do you think the character is that well known amongst the mainstream/non-Batman fans? Probably not. Do Batman fans dig her? Absolutely.

I wouldn’t say that I’m a “big” fan of the character; but I did grow more fond of Harley while playing the ARKHAM video games. Also, I do like the way she is being portrayed in the New 52 today. Honestly, I never really liked her voice in BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES (no offense to Arleen Sorkin or Tara Strong). There’s NO WAY that someone that stupid-sounding could be a damn psychiatrist with a M.D. degree! I hope like hell that Margot Robbie doesn’t sound like that in SUICIDE SQUAD! (Though I am very much looking forward to seeing how Harley’s portrayed in the film and I’m glad she’s in it.)

And no, Harley will NEVER be more popular than Batman! (And yes, I know that was a tounge-in-cheek question. LOL!)

With Warner Bros./DC Entertainment attempting to launch a live-action Static Shock series via the digital medium, do you think this would be the place to introduce the general public to the larger “Batman Family?” (The Red Hood, the Outlaws, and Birds of Prey for example.)

JETT SAYS: I think there are all sorts of mediums available today for live-action DC.

Hey Bill, what are your thoughts about a possible Batfleck cameo in SUICIDE SQUAD?

JETT SAYS: Glenn, I am – and have been – totally down with Ben Affleck doing a cameo as Batman in SUICIDE SQUAD. Really, with The Joker (Jared Leto), Deadshot (Will Smith), and Harley Quinn (Margo Robbie) in the movie, Batman not showing up would be a missed opportunity/mistake. And I agree with my good friend Mark Hughes when he said that Batfleck’s brief appearance in the film will certainly set up Batman vs. The Joker in the next solo Batman film.

Will Batman finally get a dark detective action drama in the Batfleck solo movie?

JETT SAYS: I’ve never understood this idea amongst some fans that Batman never did any “detective work” in “The Dark Knight Trilogy.” Both Batman and Bruce Wayne are clearly shown doing just that several times in those films – especially BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT. Heck, there’s “detective work” by Batman in BATMAN ’89 and BATMAN FOREVER as well. If the question is whether or not a future Batman film will be a Sherlock Holmes-style movie with Batman doing “detective work” throughout, I’d say no, that’s not going to happen.

Do you think we might finally see Ace in these new films? Batman should have a dog. It makes perfect sense.

JETT SAYS: Since I am a “dog person,” I’d be very happy to see ‘ol Ace, The Bat-Hound in a Batman film.

Hi Jett, do you think SUICIDE SQUAD villains other than The Joker and Harley will join the Batman solo film? Any thought on General Zod meeting Superman in a pub recently? Coincidence?

JETT SAYS: I believe that The Joker will be in the solo Batfleck Bat-flick and the character will be played by Jared Leto. As far as the rumor of Michael Shannon making a cameo in BATMAN v SUPERMAN, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if that happens. I’ve long believed that if Doomsday is in the film (as has been rumored for a longtime now), he would be a Lex Luthor-created clone of Zod – a “Bizarro Zod” if you will.

If and when they do another animated Batman series, what direction should they go? More dark and serious like BATMAN: THE ANINATED SERIES and BEWARE THE BATMAN, or more lighthearted like BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD?

JETT SAYS: Well, it’s definitely WHEN and not IF when it comes to another animated Batman TV series. I’m not really sure what direction they should go to be honest. I think both THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD and BEWARE THE BATMAN were canceled too soon. Also, both series’ TV time slots were wrong. TBATB should’ve been on Saturday mornings, while BTB would’ve been better off airing Friday nights in primetime.

How about an animated Batman anthology series with individual episodes based on classic comic book stories (like “The Joker’s 5 Way Revenge” from BATMAN #251 or “There’s No Hope in Crime Alley” from DETECTIVE COMICS #457 for example)?

So I guess it looks like that shooting BATMAN v SUPERMAN and JUSTICE LEAGUE, PART 1 back-to-back thing isn't happens then, huh?

JETT SAYS: Doesn’t look like it. I for one never believed that rumor, thus it never got any run on BOF. I do think, however, that the JUSTICE LEAGUE movies will be filmed back-to-back.

Based on what you know – or your own opinion – will the next solo Batman film be a prequel or a sequel to BATMAN v SUPERMAN?

JETT SAYS: I really don’t know. It could be either, or both, actually. If Ben Affleck’s Batman in BvS has been Batmanning for nearly 20 years, there’s a lot of stories that could be told in a film set prior to BvS. Like, how did one of the Robins die, for instance? On the other hand, one of the reasons that The Joker is being introduced in SUICIDE SQUAD (along with Batfleck’s cameo), is to set up a future showdown between the two in a solo Batman film. And it’s certainly possible that it will take place after the events of BvS, but include flashbacks to events before BvS.

A life-long Batman fan, Bill "Jett" Ramey
is the founder of BATMAN-ON-FILM.COM.
He likes Elvis, Rock-N-Roll,
The University of Texas, cold beer,
Dallas Cowboys Football, and of course...
He resides in the GREAT state of TEXAS with his lovely wife, three kids, and two Boston Terriers.

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